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How Can New Grad RN gain experience to land a job as a RN

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This is something I really don't understand....you do your part and go to school for a proper education to work as a RN with a BSN. Then when you apply for a job they ask you do you have any RN experience ( even if you tell them you have LPN, PCA, etc..), they still say no you need RN experience. How is it you as a new grad RN can gain experience when they mostly want experience RN? Therefore, how can you ever gain experience then? Everyone gain their RN experience at some point because somebody gave them a chance to build their skill.

When I was in nursing school I knew someone that finish nursing school a year and half and couldn't land a job. The person had to end up working a the gas station ( no disrespect) because the person had to work pay the bills some how. I never understood this, i even ask did you volunteer, get BSN and the person told me they did all of that. The person just keep telling me me it is really hard to land a job because everyone was mostly asking for experience RN. Finally, they did landed a job 2 years later which I am happy for the person, because someone gave them a chance.

It is frustrating, and I am not giving up the fight to land a job as a RN. All I am saying is give us new grad RN a chance too.

P.S. This is not a post to cause an argument btw experience RN and New grad RN. Remember we are all same thing regardless Regiestered Nurses. Thanks.

Edited by SuperwomenRN
Misspelling

The same thing happened with me. Although it might not be what you want to do, nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals will sometimes hire new graduates. I was lucky enough to be hired as a new grad at an acute rehab hospital and although a lot of places don't consider that med surg experience it's better then nothing and you leant to prioritize and deal with patients. Also if you really can't get a nursing job try to apply for a nursing assistant job just to get your foot in the door. A lot of hospitals are more likely to hire from within!

Dp1126 is right and I agree. Another suggestion would be to volunteer where you really believe you would like to work. I know it is not paying any money however, it demonstrates something about you. It also could be done in conjunction with any work such as nursing assistant as Dp1126 suggested. Hospitals have many jobs that are non nursing but their internal postings are accessible and it is a great way to learn about the units and network.

Gentleman_nurse, MSN

Specializes in Behavioral health.

This is what I fear about the nursing profession. You have much talent going to waste. I hate comparing it to physicians but when is the last time you heard about unemployed doctors.

estrellaCR, BSN, RN

Specializes in OB, Pediatrics, Maternal/Child Health. Has 2 years experience.

There are no unemployed doctors because medical schools have a cap on how many students they accept. Some nursing schools do also such as the CUNYs, ie Hunter College where i went, they graduate 80 new grads per year. But others like the big private universities NYU (as per what NYU students doing clinicals at my old job told me)...they graduate like 300 new grads per Semester. Its crazy with a job market like this to be putting out so many new grads who will have hard time getting employed just because they have no experience.

Anyways, how u can get experience....be open to where you want to work. Look for clinics, home care, foster care agencies with medical programs, rehab facilities etc. My first RN job was in clinic and I was hired one month after NCLEX (i didnt start applying until i took NCLEX because they all want a license before interviewing you). Eight months later I was interview and hired at a city hospital in Brooklyn. IM a BSN however I was hired along with ASNs who are enrolled in a BSN program. So enroll in BSN program ASAP. And if finances allow take certifications such as IV, ACLS, PALS etc.

laynaER

Specializes in NICU. Has 4 years experience.

The recent hires at my job have been volunteers! It sucks to say that we are now in an age where simply just applying is not enough. It has become all about who you know. My advice would be to contact your local hospital's volunteer office, sign up to volunteer, and volunteer on a unit you're interested in working on. When a position opens up, you may be the first person who comes to the hiring manager's mind. Learn as much as you can by helping out a nurse, show initiative, and help out as much as you can. Hang in there. Something's got to give. I went through the same thing when I was looking for a job 4 years ago. I remained patient and didn't give up.

estrellaCR, BSN, RN

Specializes in OB, Pediatrics, Maternal/Child Health. Has 2 years experience.

Volunteering does Not guarantee a job. You may be a great volunteer but it wont get you a job. It all depends on the hospital and unit you volunteer one...some managers like to hire volunteer and others do not...either they seek experience or let Human Resources prescreen the applicants. I and several former classmates of mine volunteered at hospitals before getting a job and it did not help us in getting a job. The only person that got hired from the unit and hospital I volunteered at was a girl that took the Manager to lunch ...kind of like bribery but it worked for her. And she was not hired on the unit we volunteered at but at a very different one. However, the experience did help me in my interview for my current job which is not at the hospital i volunteered. The Asst Director liked my volunteer experience.

Volunteering is good to build experience of what patient needs are in hospital ( ps u will not get clinical experience from this , you will just assist in responding to call bells and passing out supplies) and also to spend the time while you are waiting for places to call you for interview. I was working full time at my old job while volunteering once a week at hospital.

Gentleman_nurse, MSN

Specializes in Behavioral health.

There are no unemployed doctors because medical schools have a cap on how many students they accept. Some nursing schools do also such as the CUNYs, ie Hunter College where i went, they graduate 80 new grads per year. But others like the big private universities NYU (as per what NYU students doing clinicals at my old job told me)...they graduate like 300 new grads per Semester. Its crazy with a job market like this to be putting out so many new grads who will have hard time getting employed just because they have no experience.

Exactly my point

Gentleman_nurse, MSN

Specializes in Behavioral health.

The recent hires at my job have been volunteers! It sucks to say that we are now in an age where simply just applying is not enough. It has become all about who you know. My advice would be to contact your local hospital's volunteer office, sign up to volunteer, and volunteer on a unit you're interested in working on. When a position opens up, you may be the first person who comes to the hiring manager's mind. Learn as much as you can by helping out a nurse, show initiative, and help out as much as you can. Hang in there. Something's got to give. I went through the same thing when I was looking for a job 4 years ago. I remained patient and didn't give up.

What type of hospital? Some places have a bureaucratic hiring process. Even if they love you, the manager will get a stack of screened resumes from HR and told to pick. Use volunteering for getting a close inside look of the environment to gather information. Think of it as a long term information interview.

This is what I fear about the nursing profession. You have much talent going to waste. I hate comparing it to physicians but when is the last time you heard about unemployed doctors.

To be clear a properly licensed physician does not need to be "employed" by anyone. He or she depending upon their specialty can set up a practice (office) and thus are self-employed.

Not every physician needs or even wants to work in or with (as in having admitting privileges ) a hospital. My own excellent and top rated GP hasn't had admitting privileges in years and has no intention on starting again.

Just as with everything else not every doctor can be on the "A" or even "B" team. There are plenty of "C", "D" or worse doctors in NYS working in grubby private or group practice. That or they find employment in places that are such hellholes that no decent physician would set foot in the place. Finally there are the ones that you'll see examples on the news every now and then arrested for everything from Medicare/Medicaid fraud to running script mills.

Nurses at least those without AP status unlike doctors must be employed by some sort of facility or institution. There are some RNs who do things outside hospitals but by and large there you are.

There are no unemployed doctors because medical schools have a cap on how many students they accept. Some nursing schools do also such as the CUNYs, ie Hunter College where i went, they graduate 80 new grads per year. But others like the big private universities NYU (as per what NYU students doing clinicals at my old job told me)...they graduate like 300 new grads per Semester. Its crazy with a job market like this to be putting out so many new grads who will have hard time getting employed just because they have no experience.

Anyways, how u can get experience....be open to where you want to work. Look for clinics, home care, foster care agencies with medical programs, rehab facilities etc. My first RN job was in clinic and I was hired one month after NCLEX (i didnt start applying until i took NCLEX because they all want a license before interviewing you). Eight months later I was interview and hired at a city hospital in Brooklyn. IM a BSN however I was hired along with ASNs who are enrolled in a BSN program. So enroll in BSN program ASAP. And if finances allow take certifications such as IV, ACLS, PALS etc.

All nursing programs have a "cap" on open slots each semester. It has been that way for ages and will continue. Rather than some arbitrary number nursing classes sizes are based upon the resources (professors, clinical instructors, clinical sites, etc...) the program has available.

Good as HB's nursing program is the thing is still part of CUNY and thus must work within the framework of a budget that is determined elsewhere.

NYU OTOH can take in huge classes because rather than small settings the program relies heavily upon lecture hall type classes. If sitting in a lecture with >100 students is something you can handle then there you are. Also from what one is hearing NYU has excellent labs and that is where many students do a good amount of clinical time in lieu of hospital.

Other than allowing themselves to be used for clinical sites hospitals in NYC as elsewhere do not have that much to do with nursing education. This also goes the other way around. Nursing schools are in the business of education. The best they can offer is to well prepare students for the board exam and give a firm foundation to begin their practice. While sad it really comes down to after graduation you are pretty much on your own. Neither NYU or Beth Israel make any promises to students of those nursing programs about employment.

estrellaCR, BSN, RN

Specializes in OB, Pediatrics, Maternal/Child Health. Has 2 years experience.

Even if they have more resources for large class sizes, it seems irresponsible to be putting out so many new graduates when the job market is unfriendly toward them. This also is happening with lawyers. A lot of law school grads are facing unemployment upon graduation due to way more job candidates than jobs available. At least with doctors they do a residency somewhere before they set up their private practice. BEcause medical students do not come out of med school ready to practice. Same with nursing nowadays. Unfortunately nurse schools are not like the diploma programs where graduates came out being able to go straight into a job. No new grad can be hired and be able to start taking patients with a day or two of orientation.

Schools especially those with large enrollments are all feeding off the "nursing shortage" and pulling all these people in as everyone things once you grad RN school u will get a job right away and you will have many options. Not true. Schools in the area are putting out upwards of 1000 (estimate based on adding all the schools and approx enrollments) new RNs per Year! There is not enough jobs that want to take all these new grads and spend time and money on their orientation. Plus there are new grads from years before with still no job so theres thousands vying for the few positions available.

Education has become a business and not in the best interest of customer (student). Especially the high tuition schools which take many more students and many end up struggling to find employment. Future students should at least know the reality of jobs and not be fed the "nursing shortage" story, which by many students i spoke to thats why they chose to go to nurse school because they were told they will get a job easily. There may be a shortage in rural or far of areas but most people dont want go out of the tristate area or to a far place like NOrth dakota or small town way upstate.

Even if they have more resources for large class sizes, it seems irresponsible to be putting out so many new graduates when the job market is unfriendly toward them. This also is happening with lawyers. A lot of law school grads are facing unemployment upon graduation due to way more job candidates than jobs available. At least with doctors they do a residency somewhere before they set up their private practice. BEcause medical students do not come out of med school ready to practice. Same with nursing nowadays. Unfortunately nurse schools are not like the diploma programs where graduates came out being able to go straight into a job. No new grad can be hired and be able to start taking patients with a day or two of orientation.

Schools especially those with large enrollments are all feeding off the "nursing shortage" and pulling all these people in as everyone things once you grad RN school u will get a job right away and you will have many options. Not true. Schools in the area are putting out upwards of 1000 (estimate based on adding all the schools and approx enrollments) new RNs per Year! There is not enough jobs that want to take all these new grads and spend time and money on their orientation. Plus there are new grads from years before with still no job so theres thousands vying for the few positions available.

Education has become a business and not in the best interest of customer (student). Especially the high tuition schools which take many more students and many end up struggling to find employment. Future students should at least know the reality of jobs and not be fed the "nursing shortage" story, which by many students i spoke to thats why they chose to go to nurse school because they were told they will get a job easily. There may be a shortage in rural or far of areas but most people dont want go out of the tristate area or to a far place like NOrth dakota or small town way upstate.

Totally agree with you that on some levels it is unfair, but again nursing programs exist not simply as guaranteed job placement schemes. Also persons will point out just as with say law prospective students should do their homework about choosing a career in nursing before seeking to enter the profession.

Up until the 1980's nursing programs both here in NYC and elsewhere were often wanting for students. At many of the CUNY community college programs you only needed that 2.5 GPA from a pre-nursing sequence and the other qualifications and you were admitted on your first attempt. Perhaps in some extreme instances it may have taken a second, but rarely. No TEAS, NLN, SAT etc... required.

Programs also shut down for lack of students which often lead to a program being on shaky finances. City College shut their BSN program IIRC in the 1980's or maybe the 1070's.

IMHO the problem is not so much the abundance of nursing schools but that suddenly everyone and their mother wants to become a nurse. Sadly reasons range not only out of altruistic purposes but simply wanting a "job" many perceive as steady, always in demand with relative high wages. Problem is that this massive influx of new grads is coming as the healthcare industry nationwide is going through huge upheavals.

New York City has lost something like twenty hospitals in the past fifteen years (or is it fifteen in the past twenty?), either way there are less inpatient beds which translates into decreased demand for nurses. Add to this shorter inpatient stays, a push to community/in home/ambulatory care and you find again the demand for bedside nurses has lessened.

Nursing in NYC is still adjusting to the shockwaves of Saint Vincent's in the Village shutting down. That such a institution was allowed to vanish told everyone in the medical profession/healthcare business we were no longer in Kansas so to speak Nothing is sacred any longer and that there probably would be more closings to follow. Sure enough there were including just last month Long Island College Hospital.

Anyone remotely considering going into nursing today needs to do so with their eyes *WIDE* open. The days of graduating in June and having a job by July if not already hired before are largely over. Just as being able to leave a job on Friday and have a new one lined up by next Tuesday.

It is rough out there and I personally don't see things changing until the large numbers of nurses near fifty or older shuffle off this mortal coil and or permanently retire. What I also see is that unless this BSN mandate from many hospitals reverses ADN programs are going to start going away on their own.

estrellaCR, BSN, RN

Specializes in OB, Pediatrics, Maternal/Child Health. Has 2 years experience.

ASN programs are starting to add RN to BSN programs now due to the hiring requirements of BSN by agencies (homecare etc) and hospitals. ASN grads say they went the ASN route to save money however they have to do a RN to BSN program later so I dont know how it is saving money as I heard of many ASNs having more difficult time with jobs than BSNs. Also, I wouldn't say BSN classes lead to better patient care as the BSN classes (meaning those that are not offered in ASN programs) are mostly theoretical and have you write papers and are nothing hands off with patient care. If BSN had more clinical hours than ASN i would agree that a BSN makes a difference. But its not the case, BSN just has more theory classes which dont really translate to better patient care. Btw I am a BSN and those theory and research and "fluff" classes didn't help with clinical skills when I was new on the job.

But it is what it is nowadays and a BSN is needed. ASN programs will have to become BSNs because it is not practical anymore for students to think with an ASN they can get a job and work while they work on a BSN. This used to happen but not anymore. Few ASNs get hired with just an ASN and many ASNs are left having to shell out even more money to go to school again (for BSN) just so they can get their first job.

Edited by estrellaCR

BSN degrees to some extent have always been about "theory", but we aren't going there (again) *LOL*

Yes, it is becoming more and more difficult to graduate with an associates and find work much less an employer to pay for RN to BSN. Suppose if one is willing to move house to an area where ADN nurses are in demand things *might* be different. Otherwise can see little time and or expense saved by not going for the BSN out of the bag and getting it over and done.

Will say when you speak to many considering nursing programs it is the overall academic requirements of four year colleges/universities that put some off. Even CUNY has tightened things up in terms of getting into it's four year colleges. As one has repeated said, nursing programs do not operate in a vacuum. Persons attending a four year program regardless of chosen major are expected to have a certain level of academic chops to handle core and other classes even if they aren't related to nursing per se.

Arguments against the BSN are over as the market has decided that BSNs are the better hire over RNs experienced or not. I graduated in 2010 and landed my first job in a nursing home through an agency in 2012. I did half a year there and absolutely hated it! That ended up getting stuck on my resume as the only experience I had which is probably why I got no interest from employers. I decided that I needed to get my BSN if I ever hoped to get into a hospital so I enrolled into a program and got my BSN within a year since I already had a BS in another discipline. Just before graduating I managed to land a job through my excoworker from the nursing home who had moved on to a top hospital in the city. While I was finishing up my BSN, she told me to drop off my resume one evening, and I met with her supervisor who has a lot of pull in the unit. She told me she would get me in. That informal meeting was in April. After graduating, I had an interview at another hospital that didn't go very well, and I was feeling pretty bummed out, especially since I had a lot of hooks in the organization. That same day, I got a call from my friend's unit manager to come in for an interview later that week. It went so well that she hired me right at the end of our meeting before I left and she told me she would e-mail the recruiter to start the hiring process. It took a month from the interview to actually get a meeting with the recruiter she had e-mailed, and even then I had to initiate the contact with the recruiter via e-mail after waiting for a call from HR for 3 weeks (I had tried to figure out her e-mail through trial and error). Lessons learned? Take the nursing home job to start networking with other nurses and form friendships that go beyond the workplace. Get your BSN. Try to get informal meetings with unit supervisors or managers. Look your best. It's so difficult to get into a hospital with no experience unless you're the best of the best. Very few people are the best of the best, therefore everyone else is your competition and that's why it's so important to have hooks. Jobs don't just fall into people's laps, especially not in NYC. Even if you have all the hooks, you still have to present yourself as if you're competing against other highly qualified candidates, but be humble about it. If you're lucky enough to be hired, don't wait for HR to call you - you must call them, but be tactful. That's what I've learned.

Edited by nyc-BSN

Arguments against the BSN are over as the market has decided that BSNs are the better hire over RNs experienced or not. I graduated in 2010 and landed my first job in a nursing home through an agency in 2012. I did half a year there and absolutely hated it! That ended up getting stuck on my resume as the only experience I had which is probably why I got no interest from employers. I decided that I needed to get my BSN if I ever hoped to get into a hospital so I enrolled into a program and got my BSN within a year since I already had a BS in another discipline. Just before graduating I managed to land a job through my excoworker from the nursing home who had moved on to a top hospital in the city. While I was finishing up my BSN, she told me to drop off my resume one evening, and I met with her supervisor who has a lot of pull in the unit. She told me she would get me in. That informal meeting was in April. After graduating, I had an interview at another hospital that didn't go very well, and I was feeling pretty bummed out, especially since I had a lot of hooks in the organization. That same day, I got a call from my friend's unit manager to come in for an interview later that week. It went so well that she hired me right at the end of our meeting before I left and she told me she would e-mail the recruiter to start the hiring process. It took a month from the interview to actually get a meeting with the recruiter she had e-mailed, and even then I had to initiate the contact with the recruiter via e-mail after waiting for a call from HR for 3 weeks (I had tried to figure out her e-mail through trial and error). Lessons learned? Take the nursing home job to start networking with other nurses and form friendships that go beyond the workplace. Get your BSN. Try to get informal meetings with unit supervisors or managers. Look your best. It's so difficult to get into a hospital with no experience unless you're the best of the best. Very few people are the best of the best, therefore everyone else is your competition and that's why it's so important to have hooks. Jobs don't just fall into people's laps, especially not in NYC. Even if you have all the hooks, you still have to present yourself as if you're competing against other highly qualified candidates, but be humble about it. If you're lucky enough to be hired, don't wait for HR to call you - you must call them, but be tactful. That's what I've learned.

I loved reading your story. I am from new jersey and moving to NYC to do my BSN. Like you, I already have a BS in another field, which will def help. However, my RN was from an ASN program like yours. What nursing homes did you look into because I have been having trouble finding nursing homes on sites like indeed in new york. It seems like there are more in nj. I have an interview at a clinic next week which I'm hopeful for. I think new grads need to be more open minded about where they are going to work because the economy is not what it used to be and new york is known to have less openings for nurses from what i've read. I also plan to get my license in nj but their BON is super slow in processing everything so that will likely take me more than 2 months to get.